Mark Ditka’s bond increased after two court hearings
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org November 20, 2012 4:48PM
Updated: November 20, 2012 4:59PM
After two court hearings Tuesday, the son of former Bears coach Mike Ditka was released from Lake County Jail on an increased bond for DUIs charges.
Mark Ditka, released on a $30,000 bond, had been free since last Thursday on a $2,500 one.
The Deerfield man was again jailed and his bond was increased Tuesday after he failed to provide a judge a current prescription for painkillers. Last week, he told a judge in a hearing he had a prescription for the painkillers when he was arrested in October for having the drugs. He also tested positive for narcotics at a random drug test Nov. 2, according to Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Dillon.
When all he could produce was the letter from his dentist and no prescription from 2012, Circuit Judge Brian Hughes increased Ditka’s bond Tuesday to $50,000.
“My concern is he tested positive. Pre-trial tried numerous times to get him to verify his prescription and he didn’t,” Hughes said.
Ditka’s lawyer Robert Ritacca said his client had already posted $2,500 and could not afford to post such a high bond. After Hughes refused to lower the bond, Ritacca asked that the case get assigned to a new judge. Circuit Judge John Phillips was randomly selected.
“He has no criminal history. He’s reputable in his standing in his community. He posted $2,500,” Ritacca told Phillips.
His client works from 11 a.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. as the manager for a restaurant in Chicago. Ditka has a residence in Chicago and Deerfield.
Dillon asked that the bond amount remain at $50,000 but Phillips reduced Ditka’s bond to $30,000.
Except for work and court hearings, Ditka is to abide by a 6 p.m. - 6 a.m. curfew. He is not allowed to use alcohol or drugs.
“No drugs whatsoever ... one-year-old Vicodin is not permitted. You better not have any possession of medication unless it’s a current prescription,” Phillips warned. By current, he meant November of this year, he clarified.
Ditka bonded out on his increased bond amount about two hours after it was lowered to $30,000.
Ditka also pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aggravated DUI and unlawful possession of a controlled substance charges before Phillips. He could face one to three years in prison or a period of probation for those charges, Phillips said.